Drunk charged with 8 counts of DUI manslaughter after crash

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crash, 8 killed, ocala news
Bryan Maclean Howard

Ocala, Florida — The Florida Highway Patrol told Ocala Post Tuesday that investigators had made an arrest in a bus crash that left eight people dead and 38 others injured.

According to reports, shortly after 1:45 p.m., FHP arrested Bryan Maclean Howard. He was the driver of the 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck that caused the fatal accident Tuesday morning.

Howard has been charged with eight counts of DUI manslaughter.

At approximately 6:37 a.m. Marion County Fire Rescue units were dispatched to reports of a bus rollover at the intersection of West Highway 40 & SW 148th Court in Marion County.

Meadowood Farms Station #12 arrived on the scene at 6:46 a.m. to find a bus rolled over with multiple casualties. Engine 12 immediately requested additional resources.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the 2010 International Bus transporting approximately 46 farm workers collided in a sideswiped manner with a 2001 Ford Ranger Truck.

FHP said the bus traveled off the roadway, went through a fence, and overturned.

A total of 46 patients were involved, with 8 of them being declared deceased by MCFR Paramedics on scene. A total of 38 patients were transported to local area hospitals: 8 in critical condition and 30 with non-life-threatening injuries.

“Today, we faced a tragic incident on West Highway 40 in Ocala with a devastating bus wreck. It is with heavy hearts that we confirm the loss of eight lives,” stated Fire Chief James Banta. “I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the 35 MCFR units that promptly responded to the emergency. I also want to thank our partners at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management, HCA Ocala, Advent Health Ocala, and the Marion County Public School system for their invaluable assistance in transporting 45 patients to local hospitals. Their coordinated efforts were crucial in managing this crisis.”

FHP said the agency will release the identities of those killed in the crash once next of kin have been notified.

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